Wanderlust is in all of us. Even the kids. The desire to travel, to see the world, to change your scenery is an all-encompassing feeling. My Little Londoners get up on a Saturday morning and ask, “Where to, mum?”
My three year old asks, “Where are we going today?” not, “What are we doing today?”
Quite often, if the weather is fine or if our feet feel a bit itchy (it doesn’t take very much, actually) we will pack a bag, jump in the car and head off. Sometimes we head for the country- mostly, we head for the hhhsea- and, if we have a free weekend or it is school holiday time we book accommodation and stay overnight. This gives us a little bit of time to experience a new place, dip our feet in the sea and feel a new wind in our hair.
Today we are heading to Swanage, a lovely little place on the South coast in Dorset. I must say, Swanage is not a place I ever thought about visiting until my grown up son moved there – I actually think the name put me off (reminded me of sewage!) but I was missing out – it really is a treat!
Not far from the better known Poole and Bournemouth, Swanage feels further away, an island, cut off. It’s the psychology of travelling across water – it makes me feel as though I am abroad. The fluttering anticipation of waiting for and driving onto the little ferry at Sandbanks, the clunk, clunk, clunk of the chain as the car-laden ferry is pulled across the Solent, and the excitement of driving off the other side- a desert of sand either side of you belonging to the National Trust’s Studland Beach.
There’s a lot to do in and around Swanage but, for a quick visit, these are some of our faves:
1. Swanage beach is sandy, child-friendly and (importantly) accessible. No long backward trudge dragging a packed pushchair over perilous pebbles, if you get there early enough you can park on Shore Road, right next to the beach and hop over the railing onto the sand. For me, this was a beach revelation and oh so handy! At peak times, if you get there much after 10am you’ll be lucky to park on Shore Road so be prepared. Parking is reasonable-ish, I paid £6.30 for 4 hours but I was happy with this because of the closeness of the car. You have deckchair hire (£3 per day) and a kiosk selling drinks and ice cream. A few minutes along Shore Road and you have the shops, restaurants, funfair, crazy golf…everything you could possibly want for a day at the seaside. If you have a bit more time check out the beautiful sandy beaches at Studland Bay.
2. Just over five miles from Swanage, proudly overlooking the surrounding area, is Corfe Castle. The OH once told me that “There’s nothing at Corfe Castle!” I disagree. Admittedly, it’s not Disney Land but, with 1000 years of history, there’s a lot going on! Peak times are super busy but worth the trip to see history brought to life with civil war re-enactments and willing, enthusiastic staff and volunteers keen to tell stories and answer questions.
3. Why not include a ride on the Swanage Railway and take a steam train from Swanage to Corfe Castle. Adult return is £13, children aged 5-16 are £8 return.
4. Another great find, a bit further on from Corfe Castle, is Blue Pool- the perfect country walk for little legs. This really is a tranquil beauty spot. Take the easier red route around the pool and see what wildlife you can spot. There is a great natural play area to discover as well as a traditional tearoom. Entry is a bit steep at £7 per adult but children (under 16s) and parking is free. Make an afternoon of it- take a picnic and feed the ducks- and get your moneys worth!
Blue Pool, Dorset. #bluepool #warehambears #tearoom
Enjoy! Amy x